bitFlyer, one of Japan’s largest bitcoin exchanges, has added the popular cryptocurrency decentralized platform Ethereum to its offering. It is not yet clear when the new service will be launched, but according to the company announcement, it will be available only to customers with Business Class, First Class, Corporate 1 and above accounts and will be traded on the bitFlyer Lightning platform for professional traders.
The total aggregate value of Ethereum as of April 9 is about JPY 83 billion, the second highest value after Bitcoin, which is valued at around JPY 700 billion. According to bitFlyer’s estimates, in March this year 1 ETH cost 0.0176 BTC (JPY875). Since the beginning of April, however, the price rose to 0.0278 BTC (JPY 1,321) and has posted an 82-fold increase since the Ethereum launch in the end of July 2015.
bitFlyer is among the leading Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges. It was founded in 2014 and so far has attracted equity funding to the tune of $7.36 million from five investors in five rounds. The most recent funding is from a venture worth $421 700.
Besides trading in cryptocurrencies, bitFlyer also offers crowdfunding with bitcoins. There are also bitcoin payment services and bitcoin advertisement services. The company also carries out surveys, analysis, research, and development of new services that utilize blockchain technology.
The Ether can be used not only as currency, but can also handle user defined smart contracts and property. The Ether, much like the bitcoin, is currently issued through “mining”.
According to the Japanese website, http://jpbitcoin.com, currently it is the largest bitcoin exchange in terms of volume.
Earlier this month another Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, Zaif, has set turnover records in two consecutive days and on April 7 reported a bitcoin trading volume of 45 000 bitcoins, worth almost JPY 2.1 billion ($19.3 million).